i must die

As I was reading part of a book titled, "The Gospel Primer" tonight, there were a few things I read that were so rich that I couldn't not share them.

"The gospel is not simply the story of 'Christ, and Him crucified'; it is also the story of my own crucifixion...Truly, Christ's death and my death are so intertwined as to be inseparable."
"Crucifixion hurts. In fact, its heart-wrenching brutality can numb the senses. It is a gasping and bloody affair, and there is nothing nice, pretty, or easy about it. It is not merely death, but excruciating death. Nevertheless, I must set my face like a flint toward the cross and embrace this crucifixion in everything I do...I must seize upon every God-given opportunity to be conformed more fully to Christ's death, no matter the pain involved."
"When my flesh yearns for some prohibited thing, I must die. When called to do something I don't want to do, I must die. When I wish to be selfish and serve no one, I must die. When shattered by hardships that I despise, I must die. When wanting to cling to wrongs done against me, I must die. When enticed by allurements of the world, I must die. When wishing to to keep besetting sins secret, I must die. When wants that are borderline needs are left unmet, I must die. When dreams that are good seem shoved aside, I must die."
It's so easy and comfortable to live with no dying. It's so typical and American to refuse to willingly suffer and deny self. It's so unchristian and Christ-belittling to imagine that we can look to the Lamb who bore the cross and not take up our own.
"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me..." Galatians 2:20
Just as we have been crucified with Christ, and we are to die to ourselves, we have come alive with Christ, and are to live to and through Him! The good news of the gospel is not only that Christ died, but that He also rose again!

Oh that I may learn to "take up my cross" and die to myself, that I may live to Christ!


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